Sunday, August 24, 2014


QUEEN Elizabeth II has formally pardoned Alan Turing (Saint of Antinous), the scientist who broke the Nazi's Enigma code machine during World War II but who was convicted of sodomy after the war.

The namesake of the A.M. Turing Award, the "Nobel Prize of computing," Turing was castrated in 1952 as part of his punishment.

Having chosen chemical castration over a prison sentence, Turing is believed to have killed himself two years later. 

He is credited with breaking the previously unbreakable Nazi code machine called "enigma" during World War II, which many say helped lead to an Allied victory over Germany's Adolf Hitler.

"A pardon from the queen is a fitting tribute to an exceptional man," British Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said in a statement. "Dr. Turing deserves to be remembered and recognized for his fantastic contribution to the war effort and his legacy to science."

Turing was just one of nearly 50,000 men who were sentenced under the 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act that made homosexuality a crime. 

Despite its plans to pardon Turing, late last year, the British government announced it would not provide posthumous pardons for the other 49,000 or so men who were sentenced under the law.

Noting the computing scientist and mathematician's contributions to the war effort, British Prime Minister David Cameron used the occasion of the queen's pardon to laud Turing as "a remarkable man who played a key role in saving this country in World War II by cracking the German enigma code."

1 comment: